On World Refugee Day, UNHCR celebrates refugee contributions to Jordanian society

On 20 June, World Refugee Day, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is honoring Jordan’s continued hospitality in welcoming and hosting refugees. Focusing on the right to seek safety, World Refugee Day this year will showcase how refugees from multiple nationalities have been able to find a safe haven in Jordan but also rebuild their lives and become a productive part of society.

“World Refugee Day is not only an occasion to remember the hardship and pain refugees have gone through in fleeing their countries, but also the strength, courage and determination they have shown in the years since,” said Dominik Bartsch, UNHCR Representative to Jordan.

To mark the occasion, UNHCR is holding a public event in Amman which will run from 6PM to 8PM on 20 June at the Ras al Ain Hangar During the event refugees from different nationalities will share their stories as well as music, dance, art, food, and different aspects of their cultures. The Jordanian band AutoStrad will also be performing.

Supported by the Greater Amman Municipality, and in the presence of H.E. the Minister of Interior, Mazin Farrayeh and the Head of the Syrian Refugee Affairs Directorate, Brigadier General Tareq Azar, ambassadors of donor countries, UN agencies, NGO organizations, and the general public, the event brings together all sectors of Jordanian society to showcase the skills of refugees and the generosity of the Jordanian host community.

The overwhelming support of Jordanians towards refugees is reflected in new data released by UNHCR this week, which shows that 96% of Jordanians are sympathetic towards refugees. This figure has increased from 92% in just six months. Additionally, the majority of Jordanians – 81% of the survey respondents – say they support the inclusion of refugees within Jordanian national systems such as health and education.

Commenting on these findings, Dominik Bartsch, UNHCR Representative to Jordan, said “The positive public sentiment towards refugees is a cornerstone for their continued acceptance and inclusion within Jordanian society. On World Refugee Day, we would like to celebrate Jordan and its people, who demonstrate their generosity and kindness at times when global displacement has reached unprecedented levels.

Figures taken from UNHCR’s latest Global Trends report, released in June, show one in every 14 people in Jordan is a refugee and that globally, the number of people fleeing war, persecution and conflict has exceeded 100 million in 2022. This is the highest level that UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency has seen in over 70 years.

Jordan currently hosts hover 760,000 refugees, 85 per cent of whom live outside of refugee camps in urban areas. The continued generosity of the Government of Jordan and the hospitality of its people over the past decades has been key to safeguarding the refugees’ access to safety and asylum. As a result, Jordan is globally recognized as an example of how to welcome people forced to flee.

Despite this, 64 percent of refugees in Jordan continue to live on less than 3JOD per day. As revealed by UNHCR’s recent Vulnerability Assessment, although most refugees in Jordan earn their own income through work and are self-sufficient, the amount of money they survive on is not enough to pull them out of poverty.

UNHCR continues to call for solidarity and responsibility-sharing from the international community, not only for those UNHCR protects, but also for Jordan as host country given the major social and economic impact of hosting refugees.